There really is no more traditional way to smoke cannabis than through a pipe. People have been using pipes for smoking a variety of things for thousands of years. Now, there are pipes for smoking weed and learning how to do so, especially when you’re doing it with a friend or friends.

It is actually quite simple to learn how to smoke a bowl, but there are some key points and rules to keep in mind. As such, we will teach you the most effective ways to smoke a bowl, all in just a few quick steps. We will also explain why using a pipe is a great way to smoke your cannabis, as well as some rules to follow when smoking with others.

What Exactly Is a Pipe: The Basics

For you to start learning to smoke a bowl, you first need to know precisely how a pipe works, as you can’t use something you’re not really familiar with.

There are plenty of tools available for enjoying cannabis, but smoking pipes are really the most commonly used. They are really just modified from the pipes used for smoking tobacco. In general, these pipes function in virtually the same way, and they are quite easy to use.


Pipes are referred to as bowls because they contain a bowl, which is deep enough to hold the cannabis. There is also a channel that allows air to flow from the mouthpiece to the bowl.

Many pipes also have a second air channel, which is often referred to as the carb. The carb is used to impact the maximum amount of airflow delivery that comes from the mouthpiece. You will use that carb when taking a hit.


You will find tobacco pipes in bamboo, ceramics, or wood varieties, making them different from cannabis pipes, which are made mostly from borosilicate glass. They can be found in many gift shops and certainly in stores that sell tobacco smoking accessories.

The size and shape of pipes can vary quite significantly. The overall design can vary widely, as well. Several pipes use water to filter the cannabis smoke and cool it. This can make for a more comfortable inhale when smoking.

Some other pipes are far simpler in their design, which are often the best for those who are just learning how to smoke a bowl. They are the least expensive and often the easiest to use. They are also smaller in size, which can make them easier to handle for beginners.

How to Smoke a Bowl: Five Recommended Steps

Here are the simple steps in smoking a bowl:

Step #1: Grind the Weed

Before you can get started, you need some cannabis available to you. This is obviously the most important step in the process.

Once you have that cannabis, you need to grind it so that you can pack your bowl. The most efficient way to do that is to use a grinder, as this will give you a more even, reliable grind.

There are a couple of things to consider when grinding your weed. First, you want to make sure that you do not over grind the weed. That can result in a powder-like substance, which is not desirable. If that happens, you just end up inhaling the entire bowl without actually being able to smoke it.

It is also possible to grind your weed without a grinder, though it is overall less efficient to do so. If that is the case, you can look into ways to grind without an actual grinder. To use a grinder, simply drop one or two nugs of weed into the grinder and start grinding.

While you don’t want powder, you do want a fine substance, which will make it easier to pack the bowl. You also don’t want anything too fine because that could just fall right through. You are looking for virtually the perfect consistency.

Keep in mind that eventually, you will also need to clean your grinder if you choose to use one. It can get pretty gross from all of the resin that gets build up over time, especially if you are constantly using the grinder.

Step #2: Pack the Bowl 

This is a pretty straightforward step, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Start by pinching a bag of cannabis in your fingers and lightly put it in your bowl. You can press gently on it, but you don’t want to press too hard because you still want some good airflow when you are smoking.

That air can help you burn the cannabis as you smoke. If you pack your bowl too tightly, you’re likely to waste some of the cannabis, which you don’t want to do.

Next, when you are packing your bowl, you want to keep in mind who will smoke it. If you are smoking alone, you can just pinch a bit of cannabis and take one or two hits at a time. That can keep your bowl fresh for you. It can also help you save some of your weed.

If you plan on sharing your bowl with others, you can stuff the pipe a bit more. This will mean that everyone gets a bit of fresh weed instead of smoking just the ashes that would be on top. Ultimately, you want to pack your bowl with enough weed that it reaches the top without overflowing.

You are going for a “gently” or “lightly” packed bowl. You don’t need to press down much when packing it, and you do not want to make it compact in any way. Remember that you need air to flow through it.

Step #3: Light It Up

You’ve got your bowl packed, so now, it’s time to light it up. You can use hemp wick to do so. That hemp wick is really just a string of hemp that burns at a very slow rate.

Lighting it up is one of the tastiest and healthiest ways to get your bowl sparked, but you don’t really need to use a hemp wick since any old lighter will also do the trick. With that said, we don’t suggest using any lighters that contain unnecessary chemicals because those can really alter the taste and flavor of your weed.

In most instances, your bowl will come with what is known as a carb or choke. This is the small hole that is right on the side of the actual bowl. It allows you to control the flow of air when you take a hit.

If you are using a pike that has a choke, you want to make sure you place your finger on top of it while you light the pipe. If you have a pipe that does not have a choke, that is also just fine. Your weed will burn, anyway. Nonetheless, it is rare to find a pipe that doesn’t have the carb.

Step #4: Start Inhaling 

Now that everything is set up, have your packed bowl ready to go and cover the choke, if you have one. Light the cannabis and inhale, but not too quickly. Inhale slowly, enjoy it, and get used to it before you start inhaling more quickly.

Once you notice that a significant amount of your cannabis has been burnt from smoking, you should let go of the choke. Then, just allow the rest of the smoke to make its way into your lungs. Hold on to it for just one or two seconds because your body will absorb the majority of the THC present in your cannabis in milliseconds.

After that, comfortably exhale. Bear in mind that there are some manners you need to consider if you are smoking with others. For example, pay attention to your saliva when you are smoking a bowl with others. You don’t want a soggy pipe to be due to you. In addition, a soggy pipe is pretty noticeable for the next person.

Smoke a Bowl

Step #5: Properly Ash 

The final step when learning to smoke a bowl is to be sure you ash your pipe correctly. You don’t want to leave any ash behind, as this can leave behind a nasty residual taste. To get rid of the ashes, you only need to tap your pipe on to another object, such as an ashtray and a trash can.

If you find that you are having trouble getting rid of the ash, even once you’ve tapped it onto another surface, you may have more cannabis available to smoke. That is because ash typically comes out quickly. Keep this in mind as you don’t want to waste any of the weed.

Another way to ash properly and easily is to carry around a poker with you. It can be a paper clip, a poker tool, a toothpick, or a dabber. These items can help clear the bowl for you so that you can control airflow better.

Smoke a Bowl

Smoking Cannabis: The Unspoken Rules 

Just like any other group activity, there are a few rules to bear in mind when smoking with others. They are more proper unspoken etiquette than anything else. Nonetheless, they are important if you are smoking with seasoned cannabis smokers, as they will expect you to follow the rules.

In general, make sure that you are never pressuring anyone to smoke more than they want. This can really put on a damper on a good time, not only for that person but for others as well.

First, make sure that if you are packing the bowl, you take into consideration the number of people who will be smoking from it. If you are smoking with several other people, pack a bowl proportional in size to the number of people smoking.

If it is just you or you and one other person, you can pack personal bowls. This means that you can build bowls that are really only worth one or two hits at a time. You can each take a hit, and then pack the bowl again.

Next, the person who supplied the cannabis is usually the one who gets to light up first. If that is you, it is also considered polite to offer the first hit to someone else.

You also want to make sure that each person who lights up gets the same good hit. This means ensuring you light only a small fraction of the cannabis that you can see. This helps to make sure that no one is forced to smoke ash and provides a more enjoyable experience for you since the bowl will last a bit longer.

Light up just the corner of the bowl to ensure you aren’t lighting up too much. If the bowl is lit already, you can pass it to the next person. When you do so, you can let the person to whom you pass it know that the bowl is cherried. It is also okay to pass it informing the next person they have to light it for themselves.

Finally, do not ever steal a lighter when smoking with others. This is quite common but gets really annoying.


Now that you know how to smoke a bowl and the rules that govern smoking, you can go ahead and enjoy your bowl. It will likely be more enjoyable for you now that you know what you’re doing.

Overall, smoking cannabis is quite safe and can be enjoyable. Learning to smoke a bowl is pretty straightforward. Once you’ve fully mastered it, it can really lead to unlocking new friendships and relationships, as it is perhaps the most popular way to smoke cannabis. In addition, it can turn into a group activity that builds overall comradery with others.

Learning to smoke a bowl is not only a pleasurable experience but also quite cost-efficient. You really don’t need anything except the bowl and your cannabis. There are no other tools you need to invest in to enjoy your bowl, but consider purchasing a grinder if you plan on smoking from a bowl regularly. It may just make packing your bowl easier and quicker.